There was the lame-duck deal on extending current tax rates in December in which Obama traded away a core campaign promise for a short-term extension of long-term unemployment benefits.

Then there was the battle over the continuing resolution that is currently funding the government. While Obama stalled for a better deal, Republicans whacked $6 billion in short-term cuts to spending and then a longer, but hazier deal on future outlays. There, Obama avoided a government shutdown and got nothing much but the chance to kick the can on the final round of cuts.

Now, Obama is walking away with, yes, the largest increase in the federal borrowing limit in history (not a wholly attractive thing, politically) and another government shutdown avoided, but nothing else. Republicans, meanwhile, got caps on spending now, a vote on a balanced budget amendment and a cuts commission to find more savings still.

The Senate will, barring a last-minute crack up, pass the plan early this afternoon. While this government shutdown deadline was fungible — owing to the fact that it was literally about being out of money, not reaching the end of a spending bill – today was the day set by the administration as “Armageddon,” also known as a partial government shutdown.

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